NETHERLANDS - Doctor Faces Euthanasia Trial

Arno Froese

After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years before she died, the patient wrote a statement saying that she wanted to be euthanized before entering a care home, prosecutors said.

But the woman also added: “I want to be able to decide (when to die) while still in my senses and when I think the time is right,” public broadcaster NOS said.

Before she was taken into care, a doctor decided that assisted suicide should be administered based on her prior statement. This was confirmed by two separate doctors independently.

When the day came to end the woman’s life, a sedative was put in her coffee and she lost consciousness.

But the woman then woke up and had to be held down by her daughter and husband while the process was finished.

At the center of the case is the question of the woman’s ability to consent to ending her life despite her previous statement.

“A crucial question to this case is how long a doctor should continue consulting a patient with dementia, if the patient in an earlier stage already requested euthanasia,” prosecution service spokeswoman Sanna van der Harg said.

“We do not doubt the doctor’s honest intentions,” she said.

“A more intensive discussion with the demented patient” could have taken place before the decision to end her life, she added.

However, the daughter of the deceased woman thanked the doctor.

“The doctor freed my mother from the mental prison which she ended up in,” she said in a statement., 27 August 2019

Arno's commentary

Oxford defines euthanasia: “the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma.” Merriam-Webster: “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals …in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.” The above article reveals one shocking fact: “the woman then woke up and had to be held down by her daughter and husband while the process was finished.” We may argue that this action ended the suffering of that person, but that is only part of it. Family members, relatives, and even physicians have burdened their conscience by such an act. Any doctor who would is violating their Hippocratic oath, “Do no harm to the patient.” Assisted suicide crosses ethical boundaries.

As Christians, we know that God is the Creator of life as well as the ultimate authority regarding our day of departure. Here Job gives us the right answer, after having lost his properties and his children: “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21b).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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